Ever since the electoral system became the norm for all modern democratic society in the 17th century, for the first time in history, a gaming related issue has manifested into a political problem.
In Korea, a candidate for the National Assembly has provoked a debate about her qualifications because of a gaming related issue. Ryu Ho-Jung, the number one nominated representative for proportional representation of the Justice Party, has faced strong opposition because she has a history of sharing her League of Legends account.
According to her statement, she let her ex-boyfriend use the account that was made in her name because he wanted to play placement matches with a friend. When she logged into the account after he played on it, her solo queue tier became way too high for her. Although she created a fresh account for herself, she used the account that was shared with her ex-boyfriend to participate in an all-female League of Legends tournament in 2014 (2014 LoL Ladies Battle).
The opinion over this issue is divided over the following controversy.
On one hand, even though Ryu let her ex-boyfriend use her account, it’s not a valid enough reason to force her to resign from candidacy for the National Assembly. There hasn’t been any financial gain from such, and since she was earnest in admitting her wrongdoings, people are saying that she deserves a second chance. Her political party, The Justice Party, took this stance and decided to continue to keep her as the nominee of the number one proportional representation.
However, on the flip side, people are taking this more seriously because of her extensive background in the gaming industry. Not only was she the founding member of a well-known university esports club in Korea, she also worked in various game companies, and even tried to set up a labor union in a game company she worked at. Politicians from opposition parties say especially for a candidate with a rich background in gaming, she should know better that an issue such as account sharing is very serious, and that she should step down from candidacy.
An interesting trend follows the different opinions on this controversy, and it’s divided by different age groups. While people in their 40s to their 70s don’t think that such a reason is not enough for her to step down, people in their 10s to 30s say that such an issue is valid enough for her to step down from candidacy. Ironically, the ‘Gamer Generation’ that she’s supposed to be representing and supposed to be receiving the most support from, are the very same people that are heavily opposing her candidacy.
Is account sharing a valid reason for political repercussion? Is it a valid enough reason for her to step down from candidacy for a seat in the National Assembly? As the number one nominated representative for proportional representation of the Justice Party, her seat in the National Assembly is almost guaranteed. However, their approval rating has dipped from 7 to 3.9 percent. Such data might mean that account sharing can warrant political repercussions.
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